National Consultant for Terminal Evaluation of FSM R2R project


Location : Federated States of Micronesia, MICRONESIA
Application Deadline :06-Oct-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Climate & Disaster Resilience
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
22-Oct-2021
Duration of Initial Contract :30days
Expected Duration of Assignment :30days

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Background

In accordance with UNDP and GEF M&E policies and procedures, all full- and medium-sized UNDP-supported GEF-financed projects are required to undergo a Terminal Evaluation (TE) at the end of the project. This Terms of Reference (TOR) sets out the expectations for the TE of the full -sized project titled Implementing an integrated “Ridge to Reef” approach to enhance ecosystem services, to conserve globally important biodiversity and to sustain local livelihoods in the FSM.

The TE process must follow the guidance outlined in the document ‘Guidance For Conducting Terminal Evaluations of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects

PROJECT BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT`

 

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is an independent sovereign island nation consisting of four States spread across the Western Pacific Ocean (from west to east): Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae. Together, the States comprise 607 islands that stretch over a longitudinal distance of almost 3,000 km mostly located between 6 and 10 degrees north of the equator. The combined land area the FSM [High Islands and Atolls] is approximately 728 km2 with 2,700,000 km2 of EEZ in the Pacific Ocean. The total area of High Island is approximately 658 km2 (Yap 97 km2, Chuuk 95 km2, Pohnpei 358 km2 and Kosrae 110 km2).

 

Marine and terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystem services underpin social well-being and the economy of the Federated States of Micronesia and are vital to food security. These resources and services, however, are currently being undermined by unsustainable natural resource use and practices; spread of invasive alien species; the impacts of climate change; and the limitations of government to effectively implement its programs and policies.

 

The FSM R2R Project is designed to engineer a paradigm shift in the approach to and management of natural resources from an ad-hoc species/site/problem centric approach to a holistic ecosystem-based management “ridge to reef” approach guided by planning and management process that are informed by actual data. The shift to an ecosystem-based approach within National and State governments will ensure that whole island systems are managed to enhance ecosystem goods and services, to conserve globally important biodiversity and to sustain local livelihoods.

 

The project’s goal is to implement an integrated “Ridge to Reef” approach to enhance ecosystem services, to conserve globally important biodiversity and to sustain local livelihoods in the FSM. The objective is to strengthen local, State and National capacities and actions to implement an integrated ecosystems management through “ridge to reef” approach on the High Islands of the four States of the FSM.

 

The project’s intervention will achieve this objective through the following set of outcomes:

Outcome 1: Integrated Ecosystems Management and Rehabilitation on the High Islands of the FSM to enhance Ridge to Reef Connectivity, or Sustainable Land-use Management; and

Outcome 2: Management Effectiveness enhanced within new and existing PAs on the High Islands of FSM as part of R2R approach, or Protected Area Management.

 

The project is seeking to:

 

  • Promote an integrated approach towards fostering sustainable land management and biodiversity conservation by seeking greater awareness, knowledge, and participation of all stakeholders in achieving a greater balance between environmental management and development needs. In doing so it will reduce conflicting land-uses and land-use practices and improve the sustainability of terrestrial and marine management so as to maintain the flow of vital ecosystem services and sustain the livelihoods of local communities.
  • Demonstrate sustainable land management practices testing new management measures, as needed, to reduce existing environmental stressors and institutional limitations.
  • Enhance the FSMs capacities to effectively manage its protected area estate as well as increase the coverage of the terrestrial and marine protected area network on the High Islands.

 

Since the global Covid-19 pandemic has escalated into a global humanitarian and socio-economic crisis in the first quarter of 2020, many countries including FSM responded immediately by implemented strict travel restrictions as a necessary measure to mitigate the spread of the virus. International travel is limited to only necessary travel and those entering the country must have in possession a Quarantine Certificate and a mandatory negative COVID-19 test result. Travelers entering FSM are expected to undergo a 14-day quarantine period (in isolation) before they are allowed to move freely.  Initially there was a lockdown period, with national government priorities focused on a Corvid 19 response plan. This had a negative impact on the project, resulting in delays to implementation for at least 4 months but with the lifting of restrictions implementation gradually picked up since June. To date, there are no known cases of Covid related deaths in FSM. National Government officials continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates


Duties and Responsibilities

TE PURPOSE

 

The TE report will assess the achievement of project results against what was expected to be achieved and draw lessons that can both improve the sustainability of benefits from this project, and aid in the overall enhancement of UNDP programming. The TE report promotes accountability and transparency and assesses the extent of project accomplishments.

 

Further to this, the objectives of the evaluation will be to:

  • assess the achievement of project results supported by evidence (i.e., progress of project’s outcome targets),

 

The TE will be conducted according to the guidance, rules and procedures established by UNDP and GEF as reflected in the UNDP Evaluation Guidance for GEF Financed Projects.

 

 

TE APPROACH & METHODOLOGY

 

The TE report must provide evidence-based information that is credible, reliable, and useful.

 

The TE team will review all relevant sources of information including documents prepared during the preparation phase (i.e., PIF, UNDP Initiation Plan, UNDP Social and Environmental Screening Procedure/SESP) the Project Document, project reports including annual PIRs, project budget revisions, lesson learned reports, national strategic and legal documents, and any other materials that the team considers useful for this evidence-based evaluation. The TE team will review the baseline and midterm GEF focal area Core Indicators/Tracking Tools submitted to the GEF at the CEO endorsement and midterm stages and the terminal Core Indicators/Tracking Tools that must be completed before the TE field mission begins. 

 

The TE team is expected to follow a participatory and consultative approach ensuring close engagement with the Project Team, government counterparts (the GEF Operational Focal Point), Implementing Partners, the UNDP Country Office(s), the Regional Technical Advisor, direct beneficiaries, and other stakeholders.

 

Engagement of stakeholders is vital to a successful TE. Stakeholder involvement should include interviews with stakeholders (at both national and state levels) who have project responsibilities, including but not limited to

 

National stakeholders:  DECEM, Department of Resources and Development, Department of Finance and Administration, Department of Transportation, Communications and Infrastructure and Department of Education.

Regional Non-Governmental Organizations: Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

Chuuk State Government Agencies and NGOs: Department of Agriculture, Department of Marine Resources, Chuuk PAN, Chuuk Environmental Protection Agency, Cooperative Research Extension (CRE) – College of Micronesia (COM), Chuuk Conservation Society (CCS) and Chuuk women Council.

Pohnpei State Government Agencies and NGOs: Department of Resources and Development, Pohnpei PAN, Department of Public Safety, Pohnpei Environmental Protection Agency, and Conservation Society of Pohnpei.

Kosrae State Government Agencies and NGOs: Kosrae Island Resource Management Authority, Kosrae PAN, Department of Resources and Economic Affairs, Kosrae Conservation and Safety Organization and Yela Environment Landowners Association (YELA).

Yap State Government Agencies and NGOs: Department of Resources and Development, Yap PAN, Yap Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Planning and Budget, Yap Community Action Program (YapCAP), Tamil Resources and Conservation Trust (TRCT), Kaday Community and Cultural Development Organization (KCDO)

R2R Technical Advisory Committees

FSM R2R Steering Committee

R2R Project Implementation Unit

 

The specific design and methodology for the TE should emerge from consultations between the TE team and the above-mentioned parties regarding what is appropriate and feasible for meeting the TE purpose and objectives and answering the evaluation questions, given limitations of budget, time and data. The TE team must, however, use gender-responsive methodologies and tools and ensure that gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as other cross-cutting issues and SDGs are incorporated into the TE report.

The final methodological approach including interview schedule, field visits and data to be used in the evaluation must be clearly outlined in the TE Inception Report and be fully discussed and agreed between UNDP, stakeholders, and the TE team.

Evaluation team should be able to revise the approach in consultation with the evaluation manager and key stakeholders. These changes in approach should be agreed and reflected clearly in the TE Inception Report.

The final report must describe the full TE approach taken and the rationale for the approach making explicit the underlying assumptions, challenges, strengths and weaknesses about the methods and approach of the evaluation.

 

The evaluator will review all relevant sources of information, such as the project document, project reports – including Annual APR/PIR, project budget revisions, midterm review, progress reports, GEF focal area tracking tools, project files, national strategic and legal documents, and any other materials that the evaluator considers useful for this evidence-based assessment. A list of documents that the project team will provide to the evaluator for review is included in Annex B of this Terms of Reference.

Analysis and reporting: Data collated will be analyzed and presented based on the evaluation criteria and ratings. Analysis will be provided in matric, tables to be best present findings and key recommendations; Reporting to be conducted in RBM (results-based management) approach.

Presentation of final draft to country office and stakeholders: The final report must describe the full TE approach taken and the rationale for the approach making explicit the underlying assumptions, challenges, strengths and weaknesses about the methods and approach of the evaluation

As of 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic as the new coronavirus rapidly spread to all regions of the world. Travel to the country has been restricted since March 2020 and travel in the country is also restricted. If it is not possible to travel to or within the country for the TE mission then the TE team should develop a methodology that takes this into account the conduct of the TE virtually and remotely, including the use of remote interview methods and extended desk reviews, data analysis, surveys, and evaluation questionnaires. This should be detailed in the TE Inception Report and agreed with the Commissioning Unit.  As of September 2021, borders are still closed to visitors and the emergency declaration is expected to be extended to January 2022.

 

If all or part of the TE is to be carried out virtually then consideration should be taken for stakeholder availability, ability, or willingness to be interviewed remotely. In addition, their accessibility to the internet/computer may be an issue as many governments and national counterparts may be working from home. These limitations must be reflected in the final TE report. 

 

If a data collection/field mission is not possible then remote interviews may be undertaken through telephone or online (skype, zoom etc.). International consultants can work remotely with national evaluator support in the field if it is safe for them to operate and travel. No stakeholders, consultants or UNDP staff should be put in harm’s way and safety is the key priority.

 

A short validation mission may be considered if it is confirmed to be safe for staff, consultants, stakeholders and if such a mission is possible within the TE schedule. Equally, qualified, and independent national consultants can be hired to undertake the TE and interviews in country as long as it is safe to do so.

 

The national consultant is expected to support this evaluation through a number of tasks including:

 

  • conducting assessments of demonstration sites and activities (expected to travel to the field)
  • interviewing community leaders, community members, municipal/traditional councils
  • document observation and provide translations (wherever necessary)
  • interviewing representatives of participating government departments, interviewing project implementation unit, national steering committees/board, and staff of executing agencies
  • interviewing other stakeholders such as non-governmental organizations, statutory organizations, local consultants hired under the project and organizations which were contracted to implement activities
  • organizing interviews for the evaluation team
  • providing regular updates/progress to the Team Leader
  • Providing inputs and feedback to compiled deliverables

 

 

 

DETAILED SCOPE OF THE TE

The TE will assess project performance against expectations set out in the project’s Logical Framework/Results Framework (see TR Annex A). The TE will assess results according to the criteria outlined in the Guidance For Conducting Terminal Evaluations of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects’.

 

The Findings section of the TE report will cover the topics listed below.

A full outline of the TE report’s content is provided in ToR Annex C.

The asterisk “(*)” indicates criteria for which a rating is required.

Findings

  • Project Design/Formulation
  • National priorities and country driven ness
  • Theory of Change
  • Gender equality and women’s empowerment
  • Social and Environmental Safeguards
  • Analysis of Results Framework: project logic and strategy, indicators
  • Assumptions and Risks
  • Lessons from other relevant projects (e.g., same focal area) incorporated into project design
  • Planned stakeholder participation
  • Linkages between project and other interventions within the sector
  • Management arrangements

 

  • Project Implementation
  • Adaptive management (changes to the project design and project outputs during implementation)
  • Actual stakeholder participation and partnership arrangements
  • Project Finance and Co-finance
  • Monitoring & Evaluation: design at entry (*), implementation (*), and overall assessment of M&E (*)
  • Implementing Agency (UNDP) (*) and Executing Agency (*), overall project oversight/implementation and execution (*)
  • Risk Management, including Social and Environmental Standards

 

  • Project Results
  • Assess the achievement of outcomes against indicators by reporting on the level of progress for each objective and outcome indicator at the time of the TE and noting final achievements
  • Assess achievements against the expected project outputs and work plan activities
  • Relevance (*), Effectiveness (*), Efficiency (*) and overall project outcome (*)
  • Sustainability: financial (*), socio-political (*), institutional framework and governance (*), environmental (*), overall likelihood of sustainability (*)
  • Country ownership
  • Gender equality and women’s empowerment
  • Cross-cutting issues (poverty alleviation, improved governance, climate change mitigation and adaptation, disaster prevention and recovery, human rights, capacity development, South-South cooperation, knowledge management, volunteerism, etc., as relevant)
  • GEF Additionality
  • Catalytic Role / Replication Effect
  • Progress to impact

 

Main Findings, Conclusions, Recommendations and Lessons Learned

  • The TE team will include a summary of the main findings of the TE report. Findings should be presented as statements of fact that are based on analysis of the data.
  •  The section on conclusions will be written in light of the findings. Conclusions should be comprehensive and balanced statements that are well substantiated by evidence and logically connected to the TE findings. They should highlight the strengths, weaknesses, and results of the project, respond to key evaluation questions, and provide insights into the identification of and/or solutions to important problems or issues pertinent to project beneficiaries, UNDP and the GEF, including issues in relation to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  • Recommendations should provide concrete, practical, feasible and targeted recommendations directed to the intended users of the evaluation about what actions to take and decisions to make. The recommendations should be specifically supported by the evidence and linked to the findings and conclusions around key questions addressed by the evaluation.
  • The TE report should also include lessons that can be taken from the evaluation, including best and worst practices in addressing issues relating to relevance, performance and success that can provide knowledge gained from the particular circumstance (programmatic and evaluation methods used, partnerships, financial leveraging, etc.) that are applicable to other GEF and UNDP interventions. When possible, the TE team should include examples of good practices in project design and implementation.
  • It is important for the conclusions, recommendations and lessons learned of the TE report to include results related to gender equality and empowerment of women.

 

The TE report will include an Evaluation Ratings Table, as shown below:

ToR Table 2: Evaluation Ratings Table for (FSM R2R Project)

Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E)

Rating[1]

M&E design at entry

 

M&E Plan Implementation

 

Overall Quality of M&E

 

Implementation & Execution

Rating

Quality of UNDP Implementation/Oversight

 

Quality of Implementing Partner Execution

 

Overall quality of Implementation/Execution

 

Assessment of Outcomes

Rating

Relevance

 

Effectiveness

 

Efficiency

 

Overall Project Outcome Rating

 

Sustainability

Rating

Financial resources

 

Socio-political/economic

 

Institutional framework and governance

 

Environmental

 

Overall Likelihood of Sustainability

 

 

 

TIMEFRAME

 

NOTE: Flexibility and delays should be included in the timeframe for the TE, with additional time for implementing the TE virtually recognising possible delays in accessing stakeholder groups due to COVID-19. Consideration may be given to a time contingency should the evaluation be delayed in any way due to COVID-19.

 

The total duration of the TE will be approximately 30 days over a time period of 12 of weeks starting on 23 October 2021. The tentative TE timeframe is as follows:

 

NOTE: Adjust the text in this column if a mission will not take place. The stakeholder interviews, if done virtually, may require a longer than usual time period.  Please adjust the number of days and completion date to accommodate this.

 

Timeframe

Activity

06 October 2021

Application closes

 07 – 23 October 2021

Selection of TE team (contracting of consultants)

 25–29 October 2021

Preparation period for TE team (handover of documentation)

 01 – 05 November 2021  

Document review and preparation of TE Inception Report

Finalization and Validation of TE Inception Report; latest start of TE mission

08 November 2021 – January 14 2022

 

TE mission: stakeholder meetings, interviews, field visits, etc.

17 – 21 January 2022

Mission wrap-up meeting & presentation of initial findings; earliest end of TE mission

24 January 2022

Preparation and submission of draft TE report

24 January 2022 – 04 February 2022

Circulation of draft TE report for comments

07 – 08 February 2022

Incorporation of comments on draft TE report into Audit Trail & finalization of TE report

09 – 15 February 2022

Preparation and Issuance of Management Response

16 – 19 February 2022

Expected date of full TE completion. Submission of final report and supporting documentation

 

 

TE DELIVERABLES

#

Deliverable

Description

Timing

Responsibilities

1

TE Inception Report

TE team clarifies objectives, methodology and timing of the TE

By 05 November 2021

 

TE team submits Inception Report to Commissioning Unit and project management

2

Presentation

Initial Findings

21 January 2022

TE team presents to Commissioning Unit and project management

3

Field visits report with supporting evidence informing draft Terminal Evaluation

Full draft report (using guidelines on report content in ToR Annex C) with annexes

24 January 2022   

TE team submits to Commissioning Unit; reviewed by BPPS-GEF RTA, Project Coordinating Unit, GEF OFP

5

Final TE Report* + Audit Trail

Revised final report and TE Audit trail in which the TE details how all received comments have (and have not) been addressed in the final TE report (See template in ToR Annex H)

By 19 February 2022

TE team submits both documents to the Commissioning Unit

 

*All final TE reports will be quality assessed by the UNDP Independent Evaluation Office (IEO).  Details of the IEO’s quality assessment of decentralized evaluations can be found in Section 6 of the UNDP Evaluation Guidelines.[2]

 

 

 TE ARRANGEMENTS

The principal responsibility for managing the TE resides with the Commissioning Unit. The Commissioning Unit for this project’s TE is the UNDP Pacific Office

 

The Commissioning Unit will contract the evaluators and ensure the timely provision of per diems and travel arrangements within the country for the TE team. The Project Team will be responsible for liaising with the TE team to provide all relevant documents, set up stakeholder interviews, and arrange field visits.

 

 

TE TEAM COMPOSITION

A team of two independent evaluators will conduct the TE – one team leader (with experience and exposure to projects and evaluations in other regions) and one National consultant expert, The team leader will be responsible for the overall design and writing of the TE report. The National consultant is expected to work under the supervision of Team Leader.

The evaluator(s) cannot have participated in the project preparation, formulation and/or implementation (including the writing of the project document), must not have conducted this project’s Mid-Term Review and should not have a conflict of interest with the project’s related activities.

 

EVALUATOR ETHICS

 

The TE team will be held to the highest ethical standards and is required to sign a code of conduct upon acceptance of the assignment. This evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the principles outlined in the UNEG ‘Ethical Guidelines for Evaluation’. The evaluator must safeguard the rights and confidentiality of information providers, interviewees, and stakeholders through measures to ensure compliance with legal and other relevant codes governing collection of data and reporting on data. The evaluator must also ensure security of collected information before and after the evaluation and protocols to ensure anonymity and confidentiality of sources of information where that is expected. The information knowledge and data gathered in the evaluation process must also be solely used for the evaluation and not for other uses without the express authorization of UNDP and partners.

 

 

[1] Outcomes, Effectiveness, Efficiency, M&E, I&E Execution, Relevance are rated on a 6-point rating scale: 6 = Highly Satisfactory (HS), 5 = Satisfactory (S), 4 = Moderately Satisfactory (MS), 3 = Moderately Unsatisfactory (MU), 2 = Unsatisfactory (U), 1 = Highly Unsatisfactory (HU). Sustainability is rated on a 4-point scale: 4 = Likely (L), 3 = Moderately Likely (ML), 2 = Moderately Unlikely (MU), 1 = Unlikely (U)

 


Competencies

  • Professionalism: Ability to perform a “broad range of administrative functions e.g budget/work programme, human resources, data base management, etc. Ability to apply knowledge of various United Nations administrative, financial and human resources rules and regulations in work situations. Experience and knowledge in technical cooperation programme implementation.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback;
  • Ability to plan, organize, implement and report on work;
  • Ability to work under pressure and tight deadlines;
  • Demonstrates integrity and ethical standards;
  • Positive, constructive attitude to work;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.


Required Skills and Experience

The selection of evaluators will be aimed at maximizing the overall “team” qualities in the following areas:

 

Education

  • Minimum degree in conservation, environmental management, and sustainable development.

Experience and Skills

  • Minimum 5 years of relevant professional experience and has the technical knowledge in the targeted focal area(s), biodiversity, land degradation and international waters
  • Experience working with communities, government sectors, NGOs and understands local protocols and customs and has excellent communication skills
  •  Previous experience with results-based monitoring and evaluation methodologies;
  • Well established networks with national and state stakeholders regarding biodiversity conservation



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